Crabbe and Goyle are Dead

comedy · ravenpuff productions · Ages 16+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by anonymous

June 10, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

I kept trying to like it. I did. But there wasn’t anything to like.

And it sucks that it was bad cause the idea should have been great. Potterstyle fanfic stuff can be super cool; wasn’t the case here.

What I didn't like

Again trying to be constructive:
There legit is like a tradition in theatre between the US and Brits. It’s called overdoing accents. The Brits have gotten way better recent days as they take over TV. It’s now time for the US to do the same. This show’s accents are too strong. It made them come off as cartoonish and that doesnt match the tone/style of the original R&G. It also made it VERY HARD TO UNDERSTAND THEM. Please pull them back cause you won’t get your show across to people if they can’t understand you.

This mistake most evident in the female house elf. She tried to combine BOTH the overmuch accent AND the house elf accent and it made her shrill as anything. Made her whole ‘fuck Hermione’ speech painful for me to hear. Please try to give her more nuance. More levels. It could have been a funny moment but it felt flat becuase of technical stuff you can fix.

I also found the actor who played Malfoy and the one who played Hermione not effective at doing their part. Malfoy is the biggest comparison you got in the script to the head of the acting company from R&G. But that character requires presence and so should Malfoy. The performance I saw had none, because she spoke every line in the same speed and tone and looked down most of the time. Except when she was mugging at the audience. It didn’t work and it’s NOT constructive to pretend differently. It needs to get tweaked.

The Hermione actor seemed to have projection issues. Please help her with those, cause I should able to hear her at the front of the stage. Right?

Finally—and this is the biggest issue. The script falls short. What could be a neat as hell idea (and shuld have been) became a train wreck of a failure because everything that’s great about R&G is lost in this parody/translation. R&G is about two guys who are lost in a story happening around them. And so is this play. But that’s all they got in common.

R&G focuses on futility and that’s why it uses luck as it does. Here the luck gets shifted into simply being something that confuses them again and again. R&G changes the Hamlet scenes into parodies and exaggeration to show the perspective of R&G towards them. Here the scenes from Potter just happen as they are with no real difference or stylization or perception alter.

There is a whole style thing that happens when you try and bridge two things like this. If you don’t make it recognizably BOTH things, then you haven’t found the right bridge or combination or aspects yet. And this show fails to get enough R&G into its Potter. The idea could be great—this version is not it.

Sorry, mates. Big Potter fan and love the idea of branching them out. But this took the piss in all the wrong ways.

My overall impression

Let’s try and make this constructive. Of the shows Ive seen this year, this show failed to work in any fashion. It should have been an easy win—take Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and spin it Potterstyle. But it doesn’t work in play because of a big bunch of reasons. The playwright doesn’t seem to get the purpose or themes of the original play they’re making parody of here. There are a bunch of actors who really don’t seem to be able to act (cause of talent or experience, I dunno). And there were major accent & voice problems that made it impossible to hear what the characters said and NOTHING derails a play more than not being able to hear it.

Constructively, it is the worst thing I’ve seen at Fringe so far. It failed at almost all levels and the audience, for the most part, appeared to agree with me.

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